Taught course

Greek Philosophy

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens · National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Entry requirements

The programme is addressed to anyone who wants not only to learn what the ancient Greek philosophers taught but also to philosophize on modern life through ancient Greek philosophy.

Months of entry

September, February

Course content

“Greek Philosophy: the art of living” is not just another programme on ancient Greek philosophy. Apart from presenting the philosophy of the ancient Greeks, it brings the past to the present, by adjusting the teachings of the philosophers to the problems one may face today, in order to offer a new perspective and therefore a different way of coping with them.

  • Greek philosophy emerged from observing life in order to help people live better.
  • Greek philosophy provides us the intellectual equipments for dealing with multiple situations in our everyday life. A characteristic example is Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, who used Aristotle’s tools of persuasion (ethos, pathos, logos) from conferences to TV interviews.
  • The Greek philosophers teach us how to be pioneers, in thought and practice. They stood up against age-old traditions, expressed their novel theories and left their mark in global thinking.
  • The philosophies of Aristotle and Plato are used in contemporary business ethics, in order to teach managers and leaders how to run their organizations.
  • Heraclitus, Democritus, Socrates etc., remind us of the personal, existential dimensions of our lives, and show us how to live a good life in a world of dazzling change, focused on the material dimensions of life, without losing ourselves.
  • Happiness doesn’t reside in cattle or gold; one’s good or evil genius resides in one’s soul. (Democritus)
  • Greek philosophy teaches us to ask questions for anything we might want to examine, ignoring both prejudices and already given answers that often lead to dead ends.

Programme Description

Lesson 1
Why philosophy? Why ancient Greek philosophy?

What is the role of philosophy in our lives, and the importance of ancient Greek philosophy in particular?

Lesson 2
From myth to reason

The transition from mythological to rational thinking and the birth of philosophy in ancient Greece.

Lesson 3
The first philosophers

The first philosophers, living in a world at the threshold of reason, gave the first rational answers for the creation of the Kosmos (world) and the emergence of man.

Lesson 4

An outstanding figure of the ancient Greek world, Pythagoras shaped a philosophy with strong religious elements and created a philosophical community, that lived by its own rules.

Lesson 5

The "obscure" aristocrat philosopher, whom even the ancients had difficulty to understand. Heraclitus is the philosopher who praised war and fire, and even today is held in high esteem.

Lesson 6
The Eleatics

III.Zeno – Melissus
Their common origin as well as the commonalities in their philosophical thought do not obscure the differences in their thought, the uniqueness of their philosophy and the paradoxes used to defend their philosophical positions.

Lesson 7
The other Presocratics

III. Leucippus – Democritus
The last pre-Socratic philosophers are equally important, as they offer different interpretations of the world, some of which have been restated in modern times.

Lesson 8
Socrates – Sophists

Socrates is the figure that changed the course of philosophical thought. His adversaries, the Sophists, focused on teaching and commenced a dynamic and productive philosophical debate on key issues.

Lesson 9

Pupil of Socrates, and one of the most prominent philosophers of all times; his influence is intense even today.

Lesson 10

The most distinguished of Plato's pupils, who taught us how to think logically and do research scientifically.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
2,5 months

Course contact details

Admissions Office